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To 4K or Not to 4K

08.23.13 @ 9:30AM Tags : , , , , , ,

Joe Rubinstein

Joe Rubinstein and his team at Digital Bolex have been developing a new, fully digital version of the most sought after 16mm camera brand in the world, the Bolex. After some lively debates on their forums, Joe decided to address a topic that he found to be particularly engaging with both fans and naysayers alike: is 4K worth it? Joe delves into what 4K is all about after the jump.

This is a guest post by Joe Rubinstein, founder of Digital Bolex.

There’s a particular discussion that has come up again and again on our Digital Bolex forum that we’ve now noticed cropping up in reactions to the footage we posted last week. So I decided to open it up here for a more public debate. To 4K or not to 4K?

CAN OF WORMS

I know that this discussion is a heated one, and there is no correct opinion. The intention of this post is to tell you about the decisions we have made when designing our camera and about how we arrived at those decisions.

To me the core functions of digital cameras are:

  • Drive the sensor in a clean way with good A/D conversion.
  • Transport and store the image data collected by the sensor in the best way possible.
  • Provide the user a good experience and a high-value proposition.


To me this means we create the electronics that run our amazing Kodak designed sensor, and then get out of the way so that filmmakers can have an image as close to sensor data as possible. Kinda like a film camera does with film.

Many cameras makers believe their job is to make your life easier by giving you a few limited shooting styles and smaller file sizes through compression, again limiting your choices, this time in post. We believe our job is to make a camera that gives the maximum control and freedom to the artist, both on set and in post. This is our North Star, the guiding light behind all of our design choices. How do we get the most accurate representation of what the sensor captured to the filmmaker in the most pliable format?

RAW VS. COMPRESSION

Debayering is hard. When running a really nice debayer algorithm in 2K resolution, most desktops computers can only do a few frames a second at the fastest, 4K takes longer. To do this on the fly most cameras use inferior algorithms.

D16 footage is impressive. Our designers and engineers have worked really hard, researching components, tuning the sensor to perfection, designing amazing analog to digital conversion modules, optimizing data paths and write speeds, and generally doing everything we can to protect the image integrity as it travels through the camera from sensor to storage. Basically it takes a lot of work to protect a 12-bit raw file as it travels through the camera. It isn’t automatic. Cameras are either built for raw or they’re not.

In the near future, when people inevitably make their camera comparison tests comparing raw footage on the D16 to other cameras, they will be impressed, even when the other cameras are much more expensive. But if/when we add compression formats, that will change completely.

The processing power in our camera won’t be good enough to run the best debayer algorithms. And when people do their camera comparison tests and compare our compressed footage to other cameras’ compressed footage, the image will be pretty much the same, except without the rolling shutter. All of our other advantages, all of the research, all of the hard work, all of our design efforts will be washed away by the tide of compression.

This is why I am hesitant to do it.

COLOR DEPTH VS RESOLUTION

There has been a big push from a lot of companies recently for 4K. They say it is the future, and I’m sure it is. But there is another, more quiet tech revolution happening, and it is one I think may be more important in the long run. It’s the Color Revolution.

When you go to a movie these days, most of the time you are seeing a 2K resolution image from a DCP, which in size isn’t that different from the 1920 x 1080 resolution of a Blu-ray disc (yes there are 4K theaters, but I’m talking about your average screen in an average movie theater.)

Color wheel

However, there is no way a Blu-ray looks anywhere near as good as the 50 foot movie theater projection. Part of the reason is that theaters use amazing projectors that are DCI compliant, but another reason is that the images they are projecting have 12-bit color depth. This is a huge difference from the 8-bit color we see at home, and the 8-bit color most reasonably priced cameras shoot, including many of the new 4K cameras.

Let’s break it down. With 8-bit color you get 256 shades of red, green, and blue, which combined gets you 16,777,216 colors. Which sounds like a lot, but it’s not, when you compare it to higher bit rates. With 10-bit color you get 1,024 shades of RGB, giving you over a billion different colors. And 12-bit is 4,096 shades of RGB and over 68 billion colors! That’s some color rendition.

Why does this matter? Because just like resolution is advancing, so is bit depth. There are affordable 10-bit monitors and 10-bit video cards these days. They don’t get as much radio play as 4K does, but are as every bit (and possibly more) revolutionary. So in the future when everything is Ultra HD, it will also be high bit-rate.

Bit-rate vs resolution in imaging is analogous to bit-depth vs sample rate in audio. In my opinion, it is much easier to hear the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit recordings, than it is to hear the difference between 48K and 96K sample rates. It’s true that both 24-bit and 96K probably make recordings sound better, as the extra detail in 4k does, but the focus is usually pretty even on providing both simultaneously. People in audio don’t generally push 96K and 8-bit together the way that video/digital cinema companies push 4K and 8-bit together. When they do it seems a little wonky to me.

High bit-depth has been around for years just like 4K. And professionals and tech junkies have been preaching about it for years, just like 4K. And it is finally getting to a price point normal people can afford it, just like 4K. And just like 4K, the distribution side of the industry isn’t really ready for it yet, unless you are going theatrical in a major theater chain. There are very few computers and monitors that can handle 10-bit images right now.

Resolution graph

I’m not suggesting anyone go out and purchase a new computer/video card/monitor in order to work in 10-bit right this minute. I’m proposing that when thinking about the future of imaging, we consider color depth at least as important as resolution.

Technology moves fast and we need to keep up, or at least we feel that way. But it actually isn’t moving that fast. The first CDs were released in 1982, 30 years ago. It has only been in the last five years that digital music distribution has become a major player in that marketplace. Blu-rays were first released in 2006. It’s entirely possible that it will take Blu-rays as long to dominate the marketplace as it did the CD and DVD, who both took 15 years to reach a 75% market share.

In today’s fast-paced high-tech YouTube world there are still almost no TV broadcasts in 1080p. Most of the big players in online media delivered to your TV, like iTunes and Netflix adopted 1080p just a little over a year ago, and most of the content on these platforms is still 720p. For television 720p is even considered a premium, for which subscribers pay extra.

The current HD standards were put into place in the mid 90′s, yet standard definition DVDs still outsell Blu-rays almost 4:1. Many analysts thought Blu-rays would be outselling DVD by 2012, but adoption has been slower than people thought. Many financial papers are still talking about the growing popularity of HD even today. HDTVs have only hit 75% of market saturation here in North America, and that was only last year!

How long will it take for all of our content delivery to be in HD of any kind? How long before it’s 1080p? How many years will it take for a majority of screens to be 4K? How many millions/billions of dollars will it take? How much will it cost for servers to host libraries of 4k content? How long will it take to create the infrastructure/bandwidth capable of streaming 4k online in average homes?

Joe RubinsteinIn essence, how long will it take to even show your 4k film to an audience in the format it was created in? Probably longer than we expect, considering all of the tiny moving parts that it takes to embrace new technology on a worldwide scale.

So is 4K the future? Yes it definitely is. Is it here today? Well sort of, but not really. Netflix/iTunes in 4K? Sure, in 2030. Is 4K necessary for me to make movies? Absolutely not. Is 4K right for me? That’s really the question at the heart of this debate, and only you can answer it.

I would say if you get hired to make Avatar, by all means, use the highest K you can find. But if you’re making a gritty indie film, or most TV shows, I think 2K is more than appropriate. In the film world there were dozens of formats in the early years, and eventually the market settled down to S8, 16/S16, 35/S35, and 65. I believe the same will happen with digital. Over the next 20 years the markets will settle into a few tiers. 4K will be one of them, but so will 2K.

I’m a low-budget filmmaker, and I’m proud of that. To me, a higher bit rate is more important than faster sample rates or more pixels. I think in the end what’s most important is that you can fall in love with the creative work you’re doing.

I had that years ago with 16mm film, and I’m finding that again with the D16. If you fall in love everytime you see a 4K image than that’s a good choice for you. I just don’t want you to feel like if you don’t have 4K you can’t have great images, and you can’t tell stories.

At the end of the day resolution is only one of many, many factors, and they all should be considered evenly, at least in my opinion.

This post originally appeared on the Digital Bolex blog.


Joe Rubinstein thumbnailJoe has 7 years experience as a Director of Photography for independent films, and 6 years experience in start ups. He worked with engineers to develop the custom hardware and software solutions that turned Polite in Public Inc, his previous company, into one of the most successful photography based event marketing companies in the country. He has extensive experience with 16mm film.

Related Posts

  1. A History of the Digtial Bolex Camera Project and an Update on Its Progress
  2. Digital Bolex Releases Massive 10GB of RAW Sample Footage from the D16 Camera
  3. First RAW Footage From D16 Shows That Digital Bolex Means Business

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 180 COMMENTS

  • I love the smell of 6K in the morning……….

    (not that I can afford it now)

  • Excellent post. I can take or leave the arguments for resolutions over 2k but the keys to the kingdom for making beautiful images is bit depth. I’ve been in post doing vfx for 14 years. The leaps in resolution have had less of an impact in overall quality than moving from 8-bit scans, to 10-bit Cineons, to 12 and 14-bit whatevers now. Blends are nicer, gradients (skies) improved ten-fold. And, of course, latitude is way better (hello, underlit greenscreens). I get a kick out of seeing footage shot on a hacked 5D that exceeds tonal range than scanned plates from tent pole blockbusters from 10 years ago. Which, btw, were 2k. And they did just fine at your local movie theater. I paid to see them in the theater and so did you!

    I’m not anti-progress. Oy, with the early Cine-Altas and Yay! to Red, Alexa, the Digital Bolex project, BMC, and the geniuses driving the Magic Lantern movement. I’m just not big on being lead by the nose by companies trying to make products obsolete that I’ve just invested in so they can sell me new stuff. Especially if my personal viewing experience is going to be exactly the same as it was before. Which I think Joe outlined nicely.

  • I was a bit surprised about the statement that “There are affordable 10-bit monitors and 10-bit video cards these days.” According to SmallHD “10-bit panels today are very expensive, bulky and typically reserved for professional color-grading applications.” 10-Bit Panel Drive “[…] only indicates the hardware driving the panel is capable of 10-bit. NOT that the actual panel is 10-bit.” [http://www.smallhd.com/oled/why-oled.html]

    • 10-bit hardware = Eizo ColorEdge monitor plus Nvidia Quadro card or AMD FirePro card plus Displayport cable.

  • I tried to do some research on 4K projection. According to a statement in this article, roughly 20K out of 90K theaters in the US are 4K capable:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/nab-75-percent-theaters-are-434290

    That seems like a lot but someone in the piece was saying that investing in 4K is not a priority for theaters right now, and they question whether general audiences would care enough to spend more for it.

    I haven’t found data on the number of films actually shown in 4K. I would assume it’s quite small right now. My mostly ignorant impression is that facilities for finishing and outputting films in 4K do not exist on an industrial scale yet.

    As for broadcast channels, this page has info on the current formats for most channels:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_television_in_the_United_States

    Most are 1080 but ESPN and FOX channels are still 720.

    As for television displays, I haven’t done a lot of research but this article says that 4k market share is currently minimal (<.1%) and isn't projected to even reach 1% for another 5 years:

    http://www.isuppli.com/Display-Materials-and-Systems/News/Pages/4K-Televisions-to-See-Marginal-Share-of-LCD-TV-Market-Through-2017.aspx

    I know there is a graph about this somewhere but someone in the article suggests that you would need a 60 inch monitor to perceive a difference between 4K and 2K.

    Overall, my impression is that widespread consumption of 4K images on 4K displays (as opposed to widespread use of 4K cameras), whether in theaters or at home, is many years away. For theaters it might happen in the next 10 years. For television/internet, it looks like it will be at least 10 years before 4K displays have significant market share, and it may be decades before most people are watching at home in 4K, barring an unforeseen technological/economic revolution.

    Bottom line, if you can comfortably afford a 4K camera or if your job pays for it, of course it will be "better" in many respects. But if it's a matter of viewing an image in 2K, while 4K cameras will be better downscaled in general, it's reasonable to point out that a 4K camera, which costs a minimum of 10X more than a high quality 2K camera, in no way produces an image that is 10X better when viewed at 2K. Maybe it's 10% better, I don't know. But if you take a RED EPIC and a BMCC/5Dmk3 at 2K, the difference is small (but obviously important) for camera people and basically non-existent for the general public. Vastly more important will be production values, acting, story, etc.

    • Thanks for taking the time to research this!

      Very useful data.

    • @Jackson “90K theaters in the US are 4K capable” – Correction that’s not US, that’s 90,000 movie screens worldwide. The US has 40,194 movie screens with 85% digital and around 22% of those digital screens 4K capable.

    • “But if you take a RED EPIC and a BMCC/5Dmk3 at 2K, the difference is small (but obviously important) for camera people and basically non-existent for the general public.”

      Usability and support are the main reasons for the price difference (not to mention framerates: 200 fps at 3k vs 30 fps at 2.5k). It seems the real price difference of 4k compared with the BMCC is only 2x since that’s the camera Black Magic is coming out with soon.

  • There is no low budget 4K projection systems available yet to “democratize” distribution of independent films…. that is the point.
    Most of you 1st time feature directors are in Hollywood dreamland thinking you are shooting like Fincher or Jackson the truth is you should be channeling your inner Tarkovsky to inner 16mm Aranofsky.
    Second tier film festivals, art houses are using mostly 2K so until a projector come in at a price it does not warrant shooting on it.
    RED has been in development on a 4K $10k projector for a few years but no sign of it yet.
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/22/red-ceo-teases-4k-3d-laser-projector-bound-for-theaters-and-mi/

    • In terms of projectors, one could use the “edge blending” designs, where a 4K image can be obtained by stacking four 2K projectors, with each responsible for the quarter of the screen. Below is the basic explanation page – http://www.mviewtech.com/Solutions_listen.asp?ProdId=120830154709
      .
      Additionally, as I kept web-surfing, I found a Chinese company PallasLCD that has recently came up with the seamless LCD walls, that previously were deemed unfathomable due to their bezels. Apparently, this company made the bezels transparent and essentially unnoticeable (or their videos are heavily blurred). On YT and their own site, they are showing the 5×4 stacks (5 wide x 4 tall) of various LCD flat screens. Considering that a 55″ LCD can be had under a grand, a 20 foot wide wall of 20 screens can be had for about $20K (+ the bezel surcharge + software pr hardware control box). A 6×6 should run under $40K, et cetera, et cetera.

  • shaun wilson on 08.25.13 @ 12:09AM

    Theres a 4K Ultra HD screen available now in the US for $699. http://www.amazon.com/Seiki-Digital-SE39UY04-39-Inch-Ultra/dp/B00DOPGO2G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377403588&sr=8-2&keywords=seiki+4K Its upscaling but a good cheap start…

    • I wouldn’t be so excited about Seiki 4Ks without first knowing the facts. Reviews are coming in with Seiki’s cheaper panels as having poor black levels, murky shadow detail, noticeable uniformity issues, and inaccurate color. Tested games are blurring or skipping frames. I don’t see the point in wanting to demonstrate the new era and grandeur of 4K if the panel displaying the content looks like crap. For the best panel quality, up-scaling, and superior color you’ll need a Sony 4K.

      • Or just buy a 2.5K monitor for under $400. In that size, there won’t be much, if any, difference between that and 4K.

  • Maybe just like he is late on his product it seems he is late on his technology info. he says that 4k would probably not be dominant by 2030. He is clearly not seeing how technology is advancing faster every year. 4k tv’s are already in the market so I believe yes to 4k. I think he is only trying to convince you to buy his product seeing the great threat of black magic 4k. He would probably have to match BMC pricing or go lower to sell his 2k camera. I do find the bolex design nice but I’ll get it as my back up or bts camera

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your comment. I feel a little like I am repeating myself, even within the comments section here, but what I’m trying to get everyone to see is that as independent filmmakers our adoption of any technology should be based on market acceptance not on what camera manufacturers or TV companies are trying to push at any given time.

      As Jackson pointed out in a comment above 4K TVs are currently at less than one percent market acceptance. To me that is FAR too early to be jumping into a 4K workflow if you are an independent filmmaker.

      Understand your market, know who is going to consume your product, and choose your gear, and everything based on that. If 99% of the people you are presenting your material to will only see it in1080 you don’t NEED to shoot 4K. You of course can if you want, but make these decisions because you understand your market. I guess if you are making films for the Japanese or Australian markets maybe 4K makes sense as again other commenters have pointed out.

      You know how there are three rules of (local) business? Location, location, location.

      There should be three rules of indie filmmaking. Know your market, know your market, know your market!

      And it’s not that hard these days, a few days of internet research, find out who’s buying, what they are buying, and who the end user is. It used to be really hard to find this information, but now it’s very easy. There really is no excuse anymore for making films “in the dark” anymore.

      • If your film is going to a TV audience, then yes 1080 is going to be it for a long time. If your film is going to a movie screen or online as an HEVC encode, then 4K is a something to consider. The US has 40,194 movie screens with 85% digital (34,164) and 22% of those digital screens are 4K capable (7,516).

        • 85% are digital. Someone saw the handwriting on the wall.

        • True but theatrical releases are very rare for indie films, and if they do show your film in theaters will the theater owners want to show your film in 4K instead of Avengers 5? Probably not. If you get a theatrical it will almost definitely be in 2K.

          • In my view of the future, especially now with high-quality low-cost cameras (Digital Bolex, BM4K), I see resourceful and talented indie directors disrupting the older Hollywood model. By the way Joe, I do appreciate what you are doing with the Digital Bolex. It’s a clever camera with a great image. And thanks for taking time-out to chat with us!

        • Also if it is going “online” still no one has 4K screens to view it. So again doesn’t really matter.

  • Excellent post…..now I’m really happy with this post as I’ve learnt a whole lot from it, not so fascinated about 4K anymore atleast not until another 5 years LoL

  • Robert Hunter on 08.25.13 @ 9:52PM

    @Joe Rubinstein … Very good analysis. Ignore the haters and trolls. Bit-depth and color rendition is far more important to me than having 6K, or 8K, etc. Even if everyone could enjoy our movies in 4K, the only way you will truly be able to appreciate the increased resolution is by having a VERY large screen.

    Accurate color rendition on the other hand is far more important from an emotional and technical standpoint when it comes to cineamtography because it greatly influences the “feel” and tone of a movie and is conducive to storytelling as is lighting. Thats my two cents.

  • I really am hoping this camera works out good for them. I hope they have brisk sales. I hope there’s a good market for them.

    I think seeing the Red Dragon has got me dreaming of what even higher K’s could look like. But there still is a market for 2K. 4K isn’t exactly on fire in America. And the camera does look so cool. And it does have excellent audio specs. I do hope they make a good business with it!

    • Robert Hunter on 08.26.13 @ 10:46AM

      I’ve seen 4k and I’ve even seen demo footage of 8k at NAB. Honestly, I could not tell the difference and I have very good eyes. You need a HUUUGE immersive screen to reap the benefits. We are the point of diminishing returns. Sure, supersampling is nice but their is more to an image than just Ks.

  • wierd that 8.25.13 and 8.26.13 comments are taking an higher position than 8.23/24.13 comments

    • That’s how the comment board operates. It’s a distinct flavor with its overflows and mini-threads (but, to make a positive out of it, it makes you go back to see where the followups to your own comments might have appeared).
      .
      Ryan did update the boards tonight (server upgrade?) but the software looks identical.

  • I’m with Joe.
    The future place to watch your film is the internet. 720p is enough of a struggle for most people. Youtube had 4k for a while – how many people watched it? How many care? Most people are starting to watch things on their iphones . The web unless h.265 starts taking off still struggles even with 720p. how many nonfilmmakers don’t make things full screen?

    I have the red one, I have the sony f35. I didn’t go the 4k route and get the F55 or F5, I have the F3 – it’s good enough for me. I just shot a commercial that aired nationally and we shot on the alexa and the f3 and the f55 and it all looked good enough for the average viewer – they wouldn’t notice – and that’s a 4k CAMERA mixed with a 2k camera mixed with a 1080p camera!! OH MY! No one called me up to complain. Dynamic range, color, and motion is as important to me as perceivable sharpness. 4k is nice to reframe. But it’s also a pain in the butt to deal with – shooting a project with 2 cameras for a week, I’d rather not shoot 4k raw and have to process it and turnaround time on most projects are fast. It’s all a compromise.

    • Even if people are watching more content on their phones, phones keep ratcheting up their resolution…my new phone is 1080p, and now all the mobile streams look like complete shit on it. However it’s not just phones, more people will be watching on tablets (which are replacing standard PCs)…there will be 4k tablets within the next year for sure.

    • As been mentioned by Gabe, the new smartphones will have the 1080p screens and new laptops are drifting toward at least the 2.5K. Anything with the hard drive – and this is where the current streaming servers are inching toward – will be capable of (technically speaking) 4K delivery, if not always instantly so.

      • Panasonic is coming out with a 20″ 4k tablet any day now. With how good 6K looks 4K display may be a speed bump on the way to higher K’s. at least I hope so.

        20″ 4K tablet: [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze8AGAFaagQ ]

        • So you think average consumers are going to buy a 20″ 4K tablet? The video even says it’s for professional photographers, which means expensive.

          And again, I feel like a broken record, but I’ll say it again…

          It doesn’t matter what tech the companies make and sell the only thing that matters is market acceptance.

          So when a significant portion of the country buys 4K phones or tablets let me know.

          Till then it just doesn’t really matter, unless you are making a major Hollywood FX movie.

          • I didn’t set out to buy a 1080p phone, but the phone I got happened to have it anyway.

          • Exactly.

          • Joe, I agree with you about your market being your primary factor. But there are also workflow logistics. Right now, dealing with even 2K uncompressed raw is burdensome for many, if not most. When 4K becomes generally reasonable, people will originate in 4K even if the end product is 2K/HD. Ubiquitous 4K cameras (RedShark predicts 20 new ones will be announced between now and NAB 2014), codecs (e.g., CineForm RAW/VC-5), higher-speed interconnects (e.g.,HDMI 2.0, 6G-SDI, Thunderbolt 2.0), and even more massive storage will make 4K production feasible long before general consumer adoption.

  • I think it’s interesting that the drive for image resolution is so hyped at the moment within the grassroots and mid level movie makers chatrooms.
    Sony like 4k, it’s a good way of selling more stuff.
    16mil was a liberating approach in the ’60′s and then later on there was dogma. Now we need a bit of that spirit again.
    I still write analogue scripts with analogue characters. I’ll worry about 4k when I write a 4k story.

  • Two technology based notes from today :
    .
    1) Sony released a compact camera a3000 that has the same 20.1 MP sensor, a Zeiss lens and 24 Mbps AVC HD at 24 fps as their current Alpha offerings. It also has HDMI out. Some of the mid-tier SLR tier features are missing but, off early shots, the image quality is pretty darn good. The most important feature of the unit is its $400 price. Projecting upward, this should mean a pro feature packed 1080p piece for well under $1K (whichever replaces the A65, A77 and A99) and a potential 2.5K piece for under $2K. If the difference is another processing chip (this one has BIONZ as well) and the de facto free software, this is all within Sony’s capabilities.
    .
    2) AT&T U-verse just upped the max download speed to 45 Mbps. They’re using h.264 for their TV package but, should they switch to h.265 soon, this is more than enough for the 4K quality streaming.

  • And, just like that, Sony and Samsung drop their prices on the 4K sets. What was $5,500 (55″) is now $4,000.

  • You guys discussing in this forum are all geniuse in your own way. I started producing short movies using Sony EX3 and Kinomatik movietube. My results are always mind blowing and i sincerely still do not know why all this 4k, 5k, 6k when in reality the additional K are not usefull for 90% of those payng for all these Ks..

  • 4k resolution (at least) is necessary if theater chains start to get back to the days of GIANT wall-to-wall Cinemascope screens (I hope to God they do). 2k is great for your local mini-mall cinemplex, but starts to fall apart.

    The ingredients that MUST be in place for 4k theatrical and UHD consumer media to have a viable chance is like the article stated: there must be a much wider color gamut and high bit depth included besides more frame rates and faster frame rates.

    And the deliverable compression codecs must be visually transparent to the master files, or why bother? Too much compression and inefficient compression codecs have killed the potential for consumer 1080 HD. Most broadcasts and internet content is artifact riddled.

    If UHD suffers the same fate… again, why bother?

  • 95% of movie goers just want a glimpse of a Hollywood girl’s T&A doing a bumpty-bump. Or a guy in a superhero suit. It could be 480p and sell.

  • Hey Everybody,

    We posted another blog inspired by the comments on this one…

    http://www.digitalbolex.com/know_your_market/

    Check it out if you’re interested.

  • How about this; we stop worrying about what we are shooting *with* (since even Hollywood is using DSLRs for *some* applications), and concentrate on telling *compelling stories* with the tools we have. That would serve us far better than the *constant* arguing over which camera is better.

    That said color rendition is more important to me than resolution these days. :)

  • Great explanation, I applaud your decision to focus on image quality, which is sadly lacking for video in any affordable way until BMCC showed [in my opinion].

    I’ve been working with 8-bit for far too long and personally consider 12-bit + decent dynamic range + decent de-bayering to be my next step.

    In that regard, I’m excited to follow the Digital Bolex developments – bring it ON! [because while BMCC has 'raw' we don't really know how the image has been 'adjusted' to fit with BM's seeming obsession with low-cost production of the cameras.]

    FWIW – how much do you think a full-frame 4k camera with 3 sensors might cost? or even a similar 1080p beast?

  • Good Move:

    I have the Canon 5m2 and the Sony FS100 and have tons of experience with large sensor cameras. To tell the truth, I am getting weary of the insane amount of follow focus that is constantly required, blurred images, missed shots, big optics, always changing from wide angle zoom to med zoom, primes etc. I suppose for film making these are absolutes and for that the S35 is the only way to go. But I also have the Sony Z5, which is a dream to use. Deep depth of field is always there. And many times the deep depth of field is also needed on the S35 which can be difficult to come by – which of course means f11 or so.

    The small chip cameras have their place and with a crisp image like this – wow is all I can say. If I need shallow DoF, I have 2 cameras that are pretty good.

    Good move, Sony.

    I’m in.

  • 4K video is here with the announcements by Sony and Panasonic. And the new Mac Pro designed for 4K will be out soon as well. What do I drop my cash on?
    As much as I love the techy argument that 4K doesn’t matter, it will matter this year. If you’re an independent filmmaker, the attraction to shooting 4K will be hard to resist. As I’ve invested in a bunch of 1080p devices (as everybody) I will stick with them for now….but the next step will be 4K.
    I’m not sure about everyone else but 2K or 2.5K seems too close to 1080p to me. 4K seems like the logical step for a resolution jump. It’s only a matter of months before the Canon Rebels will support 2K and 4K, and at that point BMPC will be out.
    Joe’s argument that filmmakers don’t need 4K and should just settle for 2K is valid; computers can’t even crunch 4K right now. But if I’m going to drop cash on something (and not for work), it’s going to be 4K, and probably a DSLR when it comes around.
    Bit-Depth with more color? Sure. But does it matter in storytelling? Maybe not to everybody. Does resolution matter more? To me, yes. Resolution means flexibility in post and a great image. WIll I keep shooting with the GH2 and uprez? Totally. Will I buy the BMCC 4K with RAW, 2nd Gen? Absolutely.

  • 4k will spread faster than we think. In fact Sony is pushing really hard to make it happen. Their new 4k semi-pro video cameras are at around $4500.00 only. Soon they will release a consumer 4k camera. Their 4k TV sets are going to drop in price by the end of 2014 and by the summer of 2015 a 50 inch 4k will be around $1800.00 only. Just like LCD’s have almost completely disappeared from the stores shelves, in less than 15 years standard definition and full 1080p TV’s will be hard to find. TV broadcasting will have a harder time catching up, but people will be using the Internet more and downloading 4k programs and movies.

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  • Lame, even if you disagree with a product be constructive and if you can’t, use your real name, coward. I’m not rushing out to buy a Digital Bolex, it’s not the right fit for me. But I sure as hell do respect the effort and drive of someone pursuing their dream, not to mention the added competition people like Joe bring to the marketplace. This is an amazing time to be a film maker.

  • Jim Jannard, is that you?

    I thought you retired?

    Bored already?

  • you reading news with your ass? he s not retired…he just dont want to post aynthing on internet because of loser assholes

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